1 Base-Flow Yields of Watersheds in the Berkeley County Area, West Virginia By Ronald D. Evaldi and Katherine S. Paybins Prepared in cooperation with the Berkeley County Commission Data Series 216 U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey
2 U.S. Department of the Interior DIRK KEMPTHORNE, Secretary U.S. Geological Survey P. Patrick Leahy, Acting Director U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia: 2006 For product and ordering information: World Wide Web: Telephone: ASK-USGS For more information on the USGS--the Federal source for science about the Earth, its natural and living resources, natural hazards, and the environment: World Wide Web: Telephone: ASK-USGS Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Although this report is in the public domain, permission must be secured from the individual copyright owners to reproduce any copyrighted materials contained within this report. Suggested citation: Evaldi, R.D., and Paybins, K.S., 2006, Base-flow yields of watersheds in the Berkeley County Area, West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 216, 4 p., 1 pl.
3 iii Contents Abstract...1 Introduction...1 Description of the Study Area...1 Hydrologic Conditions...2 Discharge Measurements...2 Base-Flow Yields...3 References Cited...3 Figure 1. Map showing base-flow yields of watershed in the Berkeley County area, West Virginia...separate file Table 1. Discharge measurements of streams in the Berkeley County area, West Virginia, July 25 28, 2005, and May 4, Conversion Factors and Datums Multiply By To obtain Length inch (in.) 2.54 centimeter (cm) foot (ft) meter (m) mile (mi) kilometer (km) Area acre square hectometer (hm 2 ) square mile (mi 2 ) square hectometer (hm 2 ) Rate inch per year (in/yr) 2.54 centimeter per year (cm/yr) cubic foot per second (ft 3 /s) cubic meter per second (m 3 /s) gallon per minute (gal/min) liter per second (L/s) gallon per day (gal/d) cubic meter per day (m 3 /d) gallon per day per acre [(gal/d)/acre] cubic meter per day per square hectometer [(m 3 /d)/hm 2 ] Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit ( F) may be converted to degrees Celsius ( C) as follows: C = ( F-32)/1.8 Horizontal coordinate information is referenced to the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83). Vertical control information is referenced to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD 29). Altitude, as used in this report, refers to distance above the vertical datum.
5 Introduction 1 Base-Flow Yields of Watersheds in the Berkeley County Area, West Virginia By Ronald D. Evaldi and Katherine S. Paybins Abstract Base-flow yields at approximately 50 percent of the annual mean ground-water recharge rate were estimated for watersheds in the Berkeley County area, W.Va. These baseflow yields were determined from two sets of discharge measurements made July 25 28, 2005, and May 4, Two sections of channel along Opequon Creek had net flow losses that are expressed as negative base-flow watershed yields; these and other base-flow watershed yields in the eastern half of the study area ranged from -940 to 2,280 gallons per day per acre ((gal/d)/acre) and averaged 395 (gal/d)/acre. The base-flow yields for watersheds in the western half of the study area ranged from 275 to 482 (gal/d)/acre and averaged 376 (gal/d)/acre. Introduction Berkeley County, W.Va., is in the Eastern Panhandle of the State, about 65 mi northwest of Washington, D.C. The 2004 population of Berkeley County was 89,400 and had increased about 50 percent since 1990 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The primary source of water for most domestic and community water-supply systems in Berkeley County is ground water (Shultz and others, 1995). State and local officials are concerned about the effects that the escalating demands for water are having on the ground-water resources of the county. Should long-term use of ground water exceed its rate of replenishment, water shortages could result. Estimates of ground-water-recharge rates throughout the county are needed for resource management planning. Ground-water recharge is a function of precipitation, temperature, runoff, infiltration rates, geology, topography, and vegetative cover. These factors are difficult to quantify by direct measurement and, as a surrogate, ground-water recharge can be estimated from stream-discharge data obtained during base-flow conditions. The base flow of streams is derived from ground-water outflow and, except for possible outflow differences caused by interbasin water transfers, the relative rates of base-flow yields from watersheds are assumed to be proportional to recharge. Discharges of streams and a wastewater-treatment-plant outfall in the Opequon Creek Watershed in Berkeley County were measured during base-flow conditions in July 25 28, 2005 (Evaldi and Paybins, 2006). In order to extend the study area to describe the base flow of streams throughout the county, additional stream-discharge measurements were made during base-flow conditions on May 4, These included stream-discharge measurements in the Opequon Creek Watershed, in the Back Creek Watershed, and on small tributary streams that drain directly to the Potomac River (table 1, at back of report; fig. 1). Presentation of these measurements herein is the result of a cooperative effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Berkeley County Commission. Description of the Study Area Berkeley County, which encompasses a land area of 325 mi 2, is bounded by Jefferson County, W.Va., to the east; Morgan County, W.Va., to the west; the State of Virginia to the south; and the Potomac River to the north (fig. 1). As reported by Shultz and others (1995), the eastern half of Berkeley County is characterized by gently rolling topography, with altitudes ranging from about 310 to 800 ft. The western half of the county is characterized by northeastward-trending parallel ridges and valleys, with altitudes ranging from about 310 to 2,200 ft. The Potomac River drains all of Berkeley County. The principal tributaries to the Potomac River are Meadow Branch, Cherry Run, Back Creek, Harlan Run, Opequon Creek, and Rockymarsh Run. Four tributaries of Opequon Creek are of significant size: Tuscarora Creek, Evans Run, Middle Creek, and Mill Creek. The base-flow discharges of all of these streams were measured, except for that of Meadow Branch (which flows through the Sleepy Creek Public Hunting and Fishing Area). Some tributaries to Opequon Creek that are entirely within Jefferson County are shown in this report because their flow contributions were used in the base-flow yield calculations for Berkeley County watersheds.
6 Base-Flow Yields of Watersheds in the Berkeley County Area, West Virginia Hydrologic Conditions This study is based on stream discharge measurements obtained during similar base-flow conditions during July 25 28, 2005, and on May 4, During these periods, the base-flow discharge provided by ground-water outflow to streams in the study area was approximately half of the longterm mean annual ground-water recharge rate estimated by Kozar and Mathes (2001). Streamflow at USGS gaging station Opequon Creek near Martinsburg, W.Va. (site 37, table 1, fig. 1), averaged 106 ft 3 /s (47,600 gal/min) during July 25 28, 2005 a value that is approximately equivalent to the 40-percent duration (flow equaled or exceeded 40 percent of the time) of summer flows reported by Wiley (2006). The station recorded a hydrograph rise to 210 ft 3 /s (94,300 gal/min) on July 22; however, this rise in flow is believed to reflect runoff from that part of the 273-mi 2 drainage area that is upstream from the study area because rainfall totaled only 0.02 in. during July at Martinsburg (National Climatic Data Center, 2005). Therefore, streamflows measured July 25 28, 2005, were assumed to be derived from base flow rather than from surface runoff. Although 0.12 in. of rain fell in Martinsburg on July 25 and 0.13 in. fell on July 27, most of this precipitation was believed to have been evapotranspired as a result of high temperatures (62 to 97 o F) during July in the Martinsburg area (National Climatic Data Center, 2005). Streamflow at USGS gaging station Opequon Creek near Martinsburg averaged 100 ft 3 /s (44,900 gal/min) on May 4, 2006, a value that is approximately equivalent to the 45-percent duration of summer flows reported by Wiley (2006). Streamflow at USGS gaging station Back Creek near Jones Springs (site 5; table 1, fig. 1) averaged 71 ft 3 /s (31,900 gal/min) on May 4, 2006, a value approximately equivalent to the 70-percent duration of summer flows. Streams were considered at base flow on May 4, 2006, because no measurable rainfall was reported at Martinsburg during April 26 through May 4, 2006 (National Climatic Data Center, 2006). It was not possible to define all of the hydrologic factors affecting the results of this study. Pumps were noted as running July 25 28, 2005, at Kilmer Spring and at Lefevre Spring, but outflow measurements were not adjusted because the amount of diversion was unknown (Evaldi and Paybins, 2006). Other unknown diversions or interbasin transfers of water could have occurred during the study. Discharge Measurements Discharge information was obtained during July 25 28, 2005, at 69 stream sites, 31 springs, and 1 wastewater-treatment-plant outfall in the Opequon Creek Watershed (Evaldi and Paybins, 2006). The wastewater-treatment-plant outfall measurement and 17 of the stream measurements were used in this study. Discharge measurements were made at 32 additional stream sites on May 4, All sites during both time periods were measured by wading with current meters. Observations of width, depth, and velocity were made at intervals in a cross section of the stream or outflow. Measured discharge is the summation of the products of the subsection areas of the cross sections and their respective average velocities (Rantz and others, 1982). Equipment used for measuring flow was checked for accuracy before and after data collection and was within acceptable operational limits. The accuracy of individual discharge measurements was dependent on channel or outflow conditions, and error generally was estimated to be less than 10 percent. A means of adjusting the measurements to similar conditions was employed because the stream-discharge measurements were obtained during slightly different flow conditions. The measurement adjustments were based on comparison of streamflow-gaging-station records for the dates of the Berkeley County discharge measurements to a flow statistic estimated from the long-term gaging-station records. The flow statistic chosen as the basis for the adjustments was the mean ground-water recharge rate estimates for USGS gaging stations Opequon Creek near Martinsburg (9.8 in/yr) and Back Creek near Jones Springs (8.5 in/yr) (Kozar and Mathes, 2001). These ground-water recharge rates can be expressed as mean watershed outflow rates, which for Opequon Creek near Martinsburg is 197 ft 3 /s and for Back Creek near Jones Springs is 147 ft 3 /s. The measurement adjustment factor used for Opequon Creek and other streams in the eastern half of the study area (sites 9 40, and 42 50) was the ratio of 50 percent of the longterm mean watershed outflow rate (98.5 ft 3 /s) to the flow of Opequon Creek near Martinsburg at the time of data collection. The flow of Opequon Creek near Martinsburg averaged 106 ft 3 /s July 25 28, 2005, and 100 ft 3 /s on May 4, Discharge measurements of streams in the eastern half of the study area during July 25 28, 2005, were adjusted by a factor of 0.929, and measurements on May 4, 2006, were adjusted by a factor of The measurement adjustment factor used for Back Creek and other streams in the western half of study area (sites 1 8) was the ratio of 50 percent of the long-term mean watershed outflow rate (73.5 ft 3 /s) to the flow of Back Creek near Jones Springs at the time of data collection. The flow of Back Creek near Jones Springs averaged 71 ft 3 /s on May 4, Stream discharge measurements of Back Creek and other streams in the western half of the study area for May 4, 2006, were adjusted by a factor of
7 References Cited Base-Flow Yields Base-flow yields equivalent to approximately 50 percent of the annual mean ground-water recharge rate were estimated for watersheds in Berkeley County (table 1, fig. 1). For headwater-channel sites, the base-flow yields were computed as the measured outflow divided by the watershed drainage area. Base-flow yields for other stream-channel sections were computed as the change in channel discharge between measurement sites divided by the amount of intervening drainage area between them. The base-flow yields were expressed in gallons per day per acre (gal/d)/acre) of intervening drainage area. For computation of change in discharge between measurement sites along a channel, all tributary inflows to the channel reach and known wastewater-treatment-plant discharges were subtracted. Flow losses of -332 and -940 (gal/d)/acre were thus determined for two subwatersheds along Opequon Creek (sites 15 and 37, respectively). These negative watershed yields might indicate flow losses to the ground-water system, channel underflow, or possible discharge-measurement errors. The base-flow yield of watersheds in the eastern half of the study area, based on measurement sites 9 50, ranged from -940 to 2,280 (gal/d)/acre and averaged 395 (gal/d)/acre. The base-flow yield of watersheds in the western half of the study area, based on measurement sites 1 8, ranged from 275 to 482 (gal/d)/acre and averaged 376 (gal/d)/acre. Shultz, R.A., Hobba, W.A., and Kozar, M.D., 1995, Geohydrology, ground-water availability, and ground-water quality of Berkeley County, West Virginia, with emphasis on the carbonate rock area: U.S. Geological Survey Water- Resources Investigations Report , 88 p. U.S. Census Bureau, 2006, State & county QuickFacts, accessed January 13, 2006, at gov/qfd/states Wiley, J.B., 2006, Low-flow analysis and selected flow statistics representative of for streamflow-gaging stations in or near West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report , 190 p. References Cited Evaldi, R.D., and Paybins, K.S., 2006, Channel gains and losses in the Opequon Creek Watershed of West Virginia, July 25 28, 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 179, 7 p. Kozar, M.D., and Mathes, M.V., 2001, Aquifer-characteristics data for West Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Water- Resources Investigations Report , 74 p. National Climatic Data Center, 2005, Unedited local climatological data, accessed January 17, 2006, at noaa.gov/ulcd/ulcd National Climatic Data Center, 2006, Unedited local climatological data, accessed July 20, 2006, at noaa.gov/ulcd/ulcd Rantz, S.E., and others, 1982, Measurement and computation of streamflow Volume 1, Measurement of stage and discharge: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 2175, p
8 Base-Flow Yields of Watersheds in the Berkeley County Area, West Virginia Table 1. Discharge measurements of streams in the Berkeley County area, West Virginia, July 25 28, 2005, and May 4, [---; unknown; ft 3 /s, cubic feet per second; gal/d, gallon per day. Horizontal coordinates are referenced to North American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83)] Site number Date Latitude Longitude Drainage area (acres) ft 3 /s Discharge gal/d 1 Adjusted discharge (gal/d) 2 Baseflow yield [(gal/d)/ acre] Site name (in West Virginia unless otherwise noted) 1 5/4/ , ,823,000 1,886, Cherry Run near Cherry Run 2 5/4/ , ,830,000 31,910, Back Creek near DeHaven, Va. 3 5/4/ , ,520,000 39,870, Back Creek near Shanghai 4 5/4/ , ,152,000 2,228, Elk Branch near Shanghai 5 5/4/ , ,890,000 47,490, Back Creek near Jones Springs 6 5/4/ , ,666,000 4,830, Tilhance Creek near Johnsontown 7 5/4/ , ,810,000 56,730, Back Creek near Johnsontown 8 5/4/ , ,980,000 2,935, Harlan Run at Little Georgetown 9 5/4/ Unnamed tributary near Prospect Hill 10 5/4/ Unnamed tributary near Marlowe 11 5/4/ ,570 65, Jordan Run near Marlowe 12 5/4/ , , Magruder Run near Marlowe 13 5/4/ , ,870,000 33,360, Opequon Creek at Carters Ford 14 5/4/ , ,050 61, Dunean Run near Ridgeway 15 5/4/ , ,090,000 32,560, Opequon Creek near Ridgeway 16 5/4/ , , , Silver Spring Run near Ridgeway 17 5/4/ , ,850 77, Specks Run near Ridgeway 18 7/25/ , ,752,000 1,627, Turkey Run at Middleway 19 7/25/ , ,469,000 2,294, Turkey Run near mouth near Middleway 20 7/26/ , ,256,000 2,095, Mill Creek at Bunker Hill 21 7/26/ , , , Torytown Run at Bunker Hill 22 7/26/ , ,106,000 4,743,000 1,360 Mill Creek below Bunker Hill 23 7/26/ , ,048,000 8,406, Mill Creek near mouth near Middleway 24 5/4/ , ,830,000 49,080,000 2,280 Opequon Creek near Middleway 25 5/4/ , ,170,000 59,270,000 1,660 Opequon Creek near Egypt 26 7/26/ , ,661,000 1,543, Middle Creek near Darkesville 27 7/26/ , ,180,000 2,954, Middle Creek near mouth near Egypt 28 7/26/ , ,700 48, Goose Creek near mouth near Egypt 29 7/26/ , ,331,000 1,237, East Branch Hopewell Run near Leetown 30 7/26/ , ,331,000 1,237, South Branch Hopewell Run near Leetown 31 7/26/ , ,594,000 3,338, Hopewell Run near mouth near Leetown 32 5/4/ , , , Buzzard Run near Vanville 33 5/4/ , , Sulphur Spring Branch near Vanville 34 7/27/ , ,146,000 1,993, Shaw Run near mouth near Grubbs Corner 35 5/4/ ,730 81, Unnamed tributary near Grubbs Corner 36 5/4/ , , , Cold Spring Run near Douglas Grove 37 5/4/ , ,630,000 63,660, Opequon Creek near Martinsburg 38 7/27/ , ,900,000 1,765, Evans Run near mouth near Martinsburg 39 5/4/ ,440 28, Unnamed tributary near Van Clevesville 40 7/27/ , ,128,000 2,906, Tuscarora Creek at Martinsburg 41 7/27/ ,546,000 2,546, Wastewater-treatment-plant outfall 42 7/27/ , ,990,000 10,210, Tuscarora Creek near mouth near Blairton 43 5/4/ , , , Unnamed tributary near Blairton 44 5/4/ , ,200,000 77,030, Opequon Creek near Files Crossroad 45 5/4/ , , , Unnamed tributary near Files Crossroad 46 5/4/ , , Eagle Run near Files Crossroad 47 5/4/ , , Unnamed tributary near Berkeley 48 5/4/ , ,440,000 80,210, Opequon Creek near Bedington 48 7/28/ , ,056,000 5,626, Hoke Run near mouth near Bedington 50 5/4/ , ,800,000 3,743, Rockymarsh Run near Scrabble 1 Discharge measurements were adjusted to approximate outflow conditions at 50 percent of the long-term annual mean ground-water recharge rate. Discharge measurements of streams in the eastern half of the study area (sites 9 40, and 42 50) during July 25 28, 2005, were adjusted by a factor of 0.929, and measurements on May 4, 2006, were adjusted by a factor of Discharge measurements of streams in the western half of the study area (sites 1 8) made on May 4, 2006, were adjusted by a factor of Base-flow yields are computed as the change in channel discharge between measurement sites divided by the change in drainage area between the sites. Yields are negative for losing (influent) reaches and positive for gaining (effluent) reaches. See figure 1 for areas associated with the base-flow yield calculations for the indicated measurement sites.
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